West Coast Promoter ‘Uncle Jamm’ Dies From Heart Attack
West Coast hip-hop promoter Rodger "Uncle Jamm" Clayton died after suffering a fatal heart attack Sunday (October 10). The party promoter known for throwing events in the '80s, filling venues including the Los Angeles Sports Arena, is noted as one of the pioneers of promoting West Coast hip-hop, through fliers and word of mouth.
"Rodger Clayton, leader of Uncle Jamms Army, was one of the most influential people on the west coast when it comes to the hip hop movement," said Los Angeles radio promoter Greg Mack in a statement. "When I first moved to L.A. in 1983, I was shocked that a promoter could fill the L.A. Sports Arena with 8000 people for a "dance." No artists, just DJs' such as Egyptian Lover and DJ Bobcat. "I last spoke with Rodger a few weeks ago and he sounded happier than ever saying he was bringing a big show to Fresno. He will truly be missed and I hope that people will now take a look at everything he created for the people of L.A. and Riverside. Not only did he give light to West Coast Artists but East Coast artists as well. I'm proud to say that he and I had many talks over the last few years regarding all that had happened in his life and mine. I will miss him."
Clayton's also gained notoriety through his hip-hop crew Uncle Jamm's Army. Founded in 1977, the group was originally named Martin Brother's Productions, after founders Greg "Wale" Martin, Gid "Arty" Martin Jr., and Glen "Tony" Martin. Clayton, who was a friend of Gid's from high school, later joined the group as a DJ. By the mid 1980s the Army had grown to be the top dance and party promoters in Los Angeles, selling out venues all over the city. Additionally, Clayton recruited underground rappers and DJs to join the group, and is credited for kicking off the careers of Ice T, Egyptian Love, and DJ Battlecat.